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Rory McIlroy Rips Brooks Koepka, 'Duplicitous' Golfers for Joining LIV Golf Series

Erin WalshJune 22, 2022

CROMWELL, CONNECTICUT - JUNE 22: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the sixth tee during a practice round prior to the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 22, 2022 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

A number of former PGA Tour stars have joined the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series after previously expressing their commitment to remaining on the PGA Tour, and Rory McIlroy expressed frustration about the matter Wednesday.

"Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he said previously," McIlroy told reporters, referring to Brooks Koepka. "I think that's why I'm surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don't understand that and I don't know if that's for legal reasons or if they can'tβ€”I have no idea. But it's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing."

Koepka, a four-time major champion, is the latest golfer to switch to LIV Golf after playing on the PGA Tour since 2012.

The change came after he was asked about the rumors that he would join LIV Golf ahead of the U.S. Open last week. He appeared annoyed by the question, though he didn't make a commitment to remaining on the PGA Tour.

"Like I said, y'all are throwing a black cloud on the U.S. Open," Koepka told reporters. "I think that sucks. I actually do feel bad for them [the USGA] for once because it's a s--tty situation. We're here to play, and you are talking about an event that happened last week."

In addition to Koepka, the LIV Golf Invitational Series has received commitments from some of the biggest names in the sport, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

The Saudi-backed league has become enticing to players because of the large purse sizes, with each event featuring a $25 million purse. The first-place finisher receives $4 million, while second place wins $2.125 million and third receives $1.5 million.

To combat LIV Golf, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced the tour has made a number of sizable purse increases for the 2023 season, including marquee events that will feature purses worth at least $20 million.

No Laying Up @NoLayingUp

Letter sent from Monahan to the players today. <a href="https://t.co/g6qjsMG3PF">pic.twitter.com/g6qjsMG3PF</a>

However, Monahan noted the PGA Tour won't be able to "compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf."

While a number of players have abandoned the PGA Tour, some, like McIlroy, have continued to express their commitment. Collin Morikawa said Tuesday he is "here to stay" on the tour.

The next event on the PGA Tour is the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, which will begin June 23.